There are in all 10 Padma awardees from Maharashtra in art, trade and industry, medicine and science and engineering.
Dr Prabha Atre (Art): Padma Vibhushan
Renowned classical vocalist Dr Prabha Atre of the Kirana Gharana was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, which she dedicated to her parents, mentors and audience for their guidance and support.
Atre, who was awarded the Padma Shri in 1990 and Padma Bhushan in 2002, said, “I am extremely happy at this recognition. I consider it as the blessings of my family, friends and audience who supported me in my journey. There was no tradition of classical music or any kind of singing in my home, but I got into it. Feels like it was some divine message. I chose a unique path in my field and the audience appreciated it and continued supporting me,” she added.
Natarajan Chandrashekharan (Trade & Industry): Padma Bhushan
Chairman of Tata Sons, he became the first non-Parsi and professional executive to head the Tata Group. He was chief operating officer and executive director of Tata Consultancy Services and in 2009, he became CEO.
Cyrus Poonawalla (Trade and Industry): Padma Bhushan
Sulochana Chavan (Art): Padma Shri
Sulochana Kadam, popularly known as Sulochana Chavan, is known for her ‘lavanis’ in Marathi. At the age of 11, Chavan started singing professionally.
Dr Himmatrao Bawaskar (Medicine): Padma Shri
A physician from Mahad in Raigad district of Maharashtra, he is well known for his research on the treatment for scorpion poisoning. His alma mater is the B J Medical College in Pune.
Sonu Nigam (Art): Padma Shri
He is a singer, celebrity judge, music director and actor. Nigam has launched his own music label on July 30, 2020, named ‘I Believe Music’ and ‘Rudhrashtakam’ is the first track to be released under the label.
Dr Balaji Tambe (posthumous), Medicine: Padma Shri
He was the founder of the Atmasantulana village at Karla in Maharashtra. He has achieved worldwide repute as an Ayurvedic doctor, particularly for the treatment of heart ailments, diabetes, blood pressure and other chronic ailments. Besides his work in Ayurveda, Dr Balaji Tambe was looked upon as a spiritual guide by many of the residents and visitors for helping them achieve spiritual well-being and upliftment.
Dr Bhim Sen Singhal (Medicine): Padma Shri
He is the Director of Neurology at the Bombay Hospital Institute of Medical Science, Mumbai. In order to update neurologists on recent advances in the subject, Dr Singhal created the ‘Neurology Foundation’ in 1996, and holds ‘neurology update’ meetings every alternate year. He established the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Society in 2001, where he now serves as honorary secretary
Anil Kumar Rajvanshi (Science and Engineering): Padma Shri
He is the director of the Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute since 1981. The institute is situated in Phaltan, Maharashtra. Prior to taking this position he served on the faculty at the University of Florida. Dr Rajvanshi has more than 35 years of experience in renewable energy research, rural and sustainable development. He has more than 150 publications and seven patents to his credit.
Dr Vijaykumar Vinayak Dongre (Medicine): Padma Shri
Dr Dongre is an expert on leprosy. He has treated many patients at Sevagram, Wardha, and has also conducted research. He was awarded the International Gandhi award in 2013.